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Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 18768
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with 15 years experience.
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Hi wonder if you can help. Our cat was injured on the 11th

Resolved Question:

Hi wonder if you can help. Our cat was injured on the 11th June. She was missing for nearly a week and then thankfully returned home after 6 days. We took her straight to the vet who carried out an X-ray and confirmed she has suffered a dislocated vertebrae (where the spine meets the pelvis) and will have to lose her tail. She has been kept in the vets since and she is apparently very upbeat, purring, happy, walking about and eating lots. She has passed urine but has not yet had a bowel movement. Vet tells that she has anal sphincter movement. I am very worried as the vet told me today (Friday) that if she doesn't have a bowel movement by Monday, then we will have to consider euthanasia. I obviously don't want this to happen & I feel he might be writing her off a bit too early. She's very happy in herself is there anything we can do?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

Welcome. I'm Dr. Bruce and I've been a small animal veterinarian for over 13 years. Thank you for your question. I'm sorry to hear about Nemo's injury. When did she get to your vet's office? Does she have any pelvic fractures? Has your vet taken any x-rays to see if fecal material is building up? She is urinating on her own in a controlled manner?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi she was taken to the vet on Tuesday this week (when we found her). She does not have any fractures to her pelvis just a dislocated vertebrae. She is urinating in a controller manner on her own and is contracting her anus (when her temp is being taken). Vet says fecal matter was seen on the X-ray Thanks
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 3 years ago.
Thanks for that information Christina. I'm very glad to hear that she doesn't have any fractures to the pelvis. Fractures to the pelvis can alter the pelvic box and make passage of stools difficult due to it being compressed / altered. Sometimes with injuries in the pelvic region, they may not want to defecate as well as the passage of stools can cause discomfort. It is great that she's urinating in a controlled manner and has that anal tone. With both of these things, she should be able to pass stools in a controlled manner when enough fecal material builds up. With her having been gone for those 6 days, she most likely wasn't eating much. She didn't have a lot of material built up in the intestinal tract to form stools. Now she's had 3 days of good nutrition at the vet's office and fecal material should be building up to pass.


With fractures / avulsion injuries to the spine in this region of the tail / pelvis, the biggest problem is actually being able to urinate. The nerves that control expression of the bladder are at risk for injury. The passage of stools should continue to happen on its own as the contraction of the colon to pass stools isn't altered. With how she's doing, I would give her 6 to 8 weeks to see how things progress. If stools aren't passing well / harder than normal, starting a stool softener may be needed.

The amputation of the tail at a future point in time most likely is something that needs to be done due to them self damaging the tail as it no longer has neurologic sensation.
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